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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 21, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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cynthia bowers reports there are bargains to be had but more trouble ahead. unarmed and homeless-- bill whitaker reports kelly thomas was beaten to death. now charges are filed against two police officers. and ben tracy's in texas where a historic drought is drying up the cotton, profits, and jobs. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. we have those dramatic pictures this evening of two americans released today after 26 months in an iranian prison. these are the families waiting as shane bauer on the left and joshua fattal bounded into freedom. they landed in the persian gulf country of oman. president obama said today, "we're thrilled.
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they shouldn't have been held in the first place." seth doane has our story, beginning with that remarkable reunion. ( cheers ) >> reporter: dashing from the plane and right into the arms of waiting family, shane bauer and josh fattal finally tasted freedom. ( cheers ) bauer fell into sarah shourd's embrace. shourd had been hiking with the two men in july 2009. bauer and shroud got engaged while in prison. the two men then briefly spoke to the media gather on the tarmac in muscat, oman. >> we are so happy we are free and relieved we are free. >> two years in prison is too long and we sincerely hope for the freedom of other political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned people in america and iran. >> reporter: the two were held as political prisoners in iran for 26 months. during that time, family members
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were allowed just one visit and three phone calls. >> our deepest gratitude goes towards his majesty, sultan kabuse of oman for obtaining our release. >> reporter: the release of the two americans appeared to be timed precisely the day before mahmoud ahmadinejad plans to appear before the world at the united nations general assembly in new york. bauer and fattal were released only after the payment of $1 million in bail. the international incident began which when bauer and fattal along with shroud, mistakenly crossed the border into iran, while hiking along the boarder in iraq. the three were charged with espionage, but shroud was released after 14 months in captivity and after the payment of half a million dollars in bail was made. she spoke with cbs news after her release. >> the most difficult thing i've
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ever had to do is leave prison without shane and josh. >> reporter: the families of the hikers issued a statement saying today was the best day of their lives. scott, it's not known how long those families will stay in oman but it's expected they'll be back in the united states in a matter of days. >> pelley: seth, thank you. today, the federal reserve took a look at the economy and decided to take another extraordinary step to try to jump start the recovery. the fed will shift some of its holdings to long-term u.s. bonds to try to make mortgages and business loans cheaper. wall street was not impressed, however. when the announcement was made, the dow dropped like a rock, closing down 283 points. anthony mason is our senior business correspondent. anthony, interest rates have already been low for a long time, but that hasn't worked so far. >> reporter: no, scott, because there's a bigger issue here. this is about more than just interest rates. it's about restoring confidence in the american economy. >> slip this on. >> reporter: chicago custom clothier jeff landis says the economic uncertainty is cutting into his business. >> i had a doctor this morning come in and he said to me, "boy,
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i'd love to buy a new suit but in this kind of atmosphere with this kind of uncertainty, i'm not going to do it." >> reporter: bleak headlines about the economy prompted 40% of americans to cut back on their spending over the past 60 days. are we at risk of talking ourselves into another recession? >> i think we're at risk of worse than that... >> reporter: yale economist robert shiller. >> ...right now, we've been in a bad unemployment equilibrium for going on four years. and it could go on for another four years. that's worse than a recession. >> reporter: shiller, coauthor of the influential book "animal spirits," says a collapse in confidence can bring the economy to its knees. psychology is its own economic force. >> absolutely. variations in psychology are the most important driver of fluctuations in the economy. >> reporter: the toxic debate in washington this summer, shiller says, raised the specter of another recession among americans still suffering from the last one.
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that fear has frozen hiring and spending. how do you beat that? >> i don't know that we have a science. in the great depression we never figured it out, not until world war ii came, and brought us out of it. >> it will have less shoulder to it. >> reporter: back in chicago, jeff landis sees no easily tailored solution to the crisis of confidence. >> you can't say, "oh, come on, spend the money, tomorrow's going to be better," because you really don't know if that's going to happen. >> reporter: the fed forecast, meanwhile, has not gotten any brighter. it now says it sees significant downside risks to the economy. scott. >> pelley: so, anthony, now the fed is going to try again to keep interest rates low. what's the effect likely to be? >> reporter: it's likely to push down interest rates a little bit, but remember, mortgage rates are at 60-year lows and the housing market isn't moving because people can't get loans. most economists think the effect of this is going to be pretty small. >> pelley: thanks anthony.
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another thing that has consumers in a sour mood is the massive number of foreclosed homes. a little later in the broadcast, we'll look at foreclosure bargains and the trouble ahead. there has been a showdown coming at the united nations all this week as world leaders meet for the annual general assembly. the palestinian authority has said it will ask for recognition of palestine as an independent state beside israel. president obama weighed in today. norah o'donnell is with the president at the u.n. norah. >> reporter: scott, president obama today made clear he thinks the palestinians should return to negotiations with israel, but despite intense diplomacy, no deal has been struck. mr. obama told the u.n. general assembly he is frustrated by the lack of progress on israeli- palestinian peace but insisted negotiations must resume. >> and i am convinced that there is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. peace is hard work. >> reporter: and mr. obama specifically said he opposed
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the palestinian leader's plan to seek statehood by smith a request directory to the u.n. security council this friday. >> peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the united nations. if it were that easy it would have been accomplished by now. >> reporter: mr. obama said the only way to avoid violence is for israel and the palestinians to settle their differences on borders, security, refugees, and the fate of jerusalem. >> each side has legitimate aspirations, and that's part of what makes peace so hard. and the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other's shoes. >> reporter: israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, whose last meeting with mr. obama was especially tense, today expressed his appreciation after the speech. >> but i think that standing your ground, taking this position of principle, which is also, i think, the right position to achieve peace, i think this is-- this is a badge of honor. >> reporter: but dr. nabil shaath a top palestinian negotiator said despite
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objections by the u.s. and israel, they would still seek a vote from the security council. >> we will give it a real try, and if we fail we'll keep knocking at the door of the security council later. >> reporter: tonight, president obama met with the palestinian leader abbas. the outcome of all of this diplomacy-- that statehood bid could actually take months and the peace negotiations remain where they've been, scott-- at a stalemate. >> pelley: thank you, norah. we have late breaking news about two men due to be executed tonight, david browd has the latest twoferlts executions were schedule tonight, one has taken place, the other is at least temporarily on hold. late today the georgia supreme court refused an appeal from davis, davis was convicted in the killing of a savannah police officer, we told you earlier this week that case is controversial because several of the prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony. tonight, the execution was put
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on hold just moments before it was to have taken place while the last minute appeal is considered by the u.s. supreme court. in texas, the death sentence was carried out as scheduled. lawrence brewer was executed for an infamous and brutal racial killing 13 years ago, the victim was chained to the back of a pickup and dragged nearly three miles. dave browdy cbs news, new york. >> in suburban los angeles, one police officer has been charged with murder today. another with manslaughter. for the beating death of an unarmed and mentally ill homeless man. bill whitaker tells us the officers are accused of carrying out an assault that lasted nearly ten minutes. a warning: to understand this story, you have to see the pictures, and some of what you're about to see is hard to watch. >> reporter: screams and the sound of a taser were captured on cell phone video as 37-year- old kelly thomas was aggressively subdued by fullerton, california, police.
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eyewitness accounts were captured on city bus surveillance video. >> really? >> yeah. >> reporter: thomas was homeless and suffered from schizophrenia. this was him before his encounter with police. this was him after. this photo, taken by his father, evidence of the savagery of the beating. thomas died from his injuries five days later. the beating and death of the mentally ill man ignited outrage across orange county on city streets... >> justice! >> reporter: ...and in city chambers, where thomas' father, ron, told councilors he'd never forget what he heard and saw on that videotape. >> the last words of his life, "dad!" "dad!" i want you to hear that the rest of your life like i will. >> reporter: the two officers charged with thomas' death were
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corporal jay cicinelli, charged with manslaughter, and officer manual ramos, charged with second-degree murder. district attorney tony reckauckes called ramos the lead assailant. >> these actions were reckless and create a high risk of death or great bodily injury. >> reporter: incidents like this are not uncommon. the u.s. justice department brought 52 criminal civil rights cases against police officers across the country last year, the most ever. roy austin is with the civil rights division. >> i'm appalled on occasion when departments are failing to do the obvious. you have to write proper policies. you have to train your officers correctly. you have to supervise your officers. >> reporter: at an arraignment late today, corporal cicinelli pled not guilty. ramos is to be arraigned monday. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> pelley: there has been a big jump in the number of young americans with health insurance. we'll tell you why. a teenager who added his voice to a campaign against bullies dies tragically. and in texas, what they call white gold is withering amid a
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devastating drought when the cbs evening news continues.
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>> pelley: the national association of realtors said today sales of existing homes rose 7.7% in august. that may sound great, but consider this-- prices fell by 5.1% in the last year. the reason? nearly a third of all those sales involved homes at risk of
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foreclosure. it's a buyers' market, and we asked cynthia bowers to look into it. >> so this is the dining room. >> reporter: school teacher scott mccartney bought this foreclosed house in july for $85,000 less than most homes sell for in the chicago neighborhood. how special is it to walk into this house every night? >> i never expected to be able to walk into a house like this, and be able to buy it and afford it. >> reporter: chicago has 100,000 foreclosed homes, more than any other american city. many are selling at fire sale prices. the average forclosure sells for $50,000 less than other homes. >> how many bedrooms? >> two bedrooms. >> reporter: how many baths? >> one bathroom. >> reporter: and you're paying less than you paid for your apartment. >> yes. >> buyers for foreclosed or market rate, or traditional sales, i think they're all
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getting steals. jeter realtor sara wear showed >> reporter: realtor sara wear showed us some examples. what kind of deals are you getting for your clients? >> this house was purchased as $60,000. $60,000. >> reporter: and this is five bedrooms? >> five bedrooms, three fireplaces. >> reporter: 40% of the homes sold in chicago are foreclosures. nationwide it's 30%. >> people that look at home- ownership as a dream, as the american dream and the dream was not so dream-- it may have been a nightmare-- but also i like at it as an opportunity. a nightmare-- but also i look at it as an opportunity. >> reporter: but here's the problem it's massive number of foreclosure sales are keeping a lid on home values. single-family homes in chicago have lost 31% of their value since 2006. that's not expected to change any of as long as there are so many foreclosures on the market. >> i got to buy a home in my price range that was all remodel and renovated and ready to go. >> reporter: there are so many foreclosures in chicago, analysts say is could take five more years to sell them all. cynthia bowers, cbs news,
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chicago. >> pelley: of course, some americans are doing just fine in this economy. bill gates tops forbes' list as the richest american. for the 18th strait year. he's worth $59 billion, $5 billion more than last year. number two, waren buffet lost $6 billion, partly because he gave $3 billion away to charity. and mark zuckerberg, creator of facebook, is the biggest gainer. he's up $10 billion. there has been a big jump in the number of young adults with health insurance because of the new health care law. government statistics show about a million more 19- to 25-year-olds had coverage this year. they can now stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26. a boy who spoke out against bullies has died. and his parents hope that others can learn from his tragic death. that's next. [ male announcer ] when you come to new york
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♪ that's what a blue-collar attitude can do in a white-collar world. ♪ now lease the all-new 2011 chrysler 300 for $339 a month for well-qualified lessees. >> pelley: in washington today, the department of education opened a summit to combat bullying. it's a nationwide problem that elaine quijano tells us was painfully highlighted this week by the suicide of a high school freshman from buffalo. >> it hurts me so to think my son felt like he was not worthy of anything. >> reporter: 14-year-old jamey rodemeyer had been bullied relentlessly since fifth grade. his parents, tim and tracy, found his body on sunday. >> it really just started with all the boys-- because all the
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girls just loved him, and they always defended him. but all the boys would say, "geez, you're such a girl. why are you hanging out with all those girls? what are you a girl? oh, you must be gay." the bullies now are still walking around. they get to wake up tomorrow and go to school and see all their friends, but my son will not be given a second chance no matter how much i have prayed. i cannot turn back the clock. i would have given my own life to turn back the minute we seen him. >> reporter: he was harassed by online insults. he saw counselors to try to deal with the pain. >> hi, this is jamey from buffalo, new york, and i'm just here to tell you that it does get better. >> reporter: in may, jamey posted this message as part of an online support group for gay teens. >> hold your head up and you'll go far because that's all you have to do-- just love yourself. >> reporter: but just weeks ago, he posted this online plea for help. "i always say how bullied i am, but no one listens.
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what do i have to do so people will listen to me?" >> they have to somehow get the power away from the bully and i don't know how you do that. and that's the biggest question in my mind because if the bully doesn't have power, he is nobody. >> for a young kid of 14 and a half he had a big message, a huge message that shouldn't even have to be a message. it should just be common decency to not make people feel worthless and useless on this planet, that they don't deserve to be with other people. >> reporter: tracy will bury her son in a t-shirt with a message of acceptance and defiance. it reads simply, "born this way." withering away in the land of cotton-- a record drought leaves farmers in texas hanging by a thread. ñ[?
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department store. and wait until you hear the explanations we got. next on cbs 5 why bay area nurses are planning a massive strike... at 6 >> pelley: folks in northern texas got a glimpse of something today they haven't seen much of this summer-- rain. but it was not enough to compensate for the worst drought in half a century. nearly every part of texas has been affected, but ben tracy shows us that few are suffering quite as much as the state's
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cotton farmers. >> reporter: rex kennedy would not normally be getting ready to go fishing with his cotton harvest just two weeks away. >> i just had to live with what i had. >> reporter: but there's nothing normal about this year. >> you have to play the law of averages. i mean, it usually rains. and it always has and it will again. it just didn't this year. >> reporter: kennedy has been cotton farming in lubbock for 22 years. only one-third of his cotton crop has survived. now only insurance is saving his business from an $800,000 loss. >> but when you have zero rain, you just can't make it happen. that's one thing that i guess the lord has shown us-- we-- we have to have rain. >> reporter: here in the high plains of texas, just half the land is irrigated. so these days, as soon as you get beyond the line where the sprinklers reach, nothing is growing. in fact, 54% of the land used to
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grow cotton here is now abandoned. the land near lubbock accounts for two-thirds of all texas cotton, more than a quarter of all cotton grown nationwide. last year the high plains produced 5.3 million bales. this year it's expected to be just two million. as many as 11,000 cotton jobs
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>> we're just ready to get this to harvest and get 2011 behind us. >> reporter: cotton may be king in these parts but rex kennedy knows the weather still rules. the drought is expected to last at least through winter. ben tracy, cbs news, lubbock, texas. >> pelley: tough times but tough people. that's the cbs evening news. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh captioned by media access group at wgbh your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. new at 6:00, thousands of bay area nurses just hours away from walking off the job. why they say they are doing it to help their patients. he was san jose's most
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wanted and now can't stop sobbing. the different face of a suspected murderer and who is accused of helping him hide out. which one do you think is real? >> that one. >> wrong. >> really good identification showing up at bars all over the bay area. where they are coming from and how easy it is to score one. good evening. it could be the biggest strike of its kind we have ever seen in northern california. tomorrow, thousands of nurses plan to walk off the job and patient care will be affected at some bay area hospitals. phil matier on the sticking points. >> reporter: that's right, ken. some 32,000 nurses are expected to stay off the job tomorrow at 32 different hospitals here in northern california. so far, the hospitals aren't blinking. >> we have in all three strikes been open for near normal business is how i would describe it. we have cancelled
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